When Things Go Bump in the Night

If you use Outlook long enough and hard enough, eventually you are going to end up breaking something vital, and either the program will not run at all, or it will start to act like it is possessed. This behavior can result from a long list of possibilities, including: damaged or corrupted configuration files, damaged or corrupted information stores (PSTs or OSTs), a damaged DLL, or an overwritten Registry key. The list is long, but the point here is that the problem could be in any number of places, perhaps even more than one.

Given the complexities of today’s software, it is often not practical—from a time perspective—to look too deeply for the problem. Sometimes it is quicker to just reinstall from your original CD. You could easily spend an hour scouring through Registry keys and configuration files and come up empty-handed; on the other hand, a reinstallation typically takes less than 20 minutes.

Here are the steps to follow if you are asked to do an exorcism on Outlook:

  1. Reboot your system. You’d be amazed at how many gremlins you can chase away by simply rebooting a system and clearing the cobwebs from memory.

  2. Locate and run scanpst.exe (typically located in \Program Files\Common Files\System\MAPI\1033\NT), to scan the PST or OST file for errors.

  3. Make sure all your configuration information is copied down, and then delete all your mail accounts. Reboot your system, and re-enter this information via the Mail applet found under Control Panel ( ...

Get Outlook 2000 in a Nutshell now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.